5,752 research outputs found

    Developing the environment agency's policy position on addressing environmental inequalities.

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    Background and drivers of the project In the UK there is growing interest in the relationship between environmental quality and social equity. Recent research has shown that the most socially and economically deprived people live in the worst environments. This presents difficult challenges to government and its agencies in delivering sustainable development, but also an opportunity to better integrate social and environmental policy and deliver a better environment and quality of life for everyone. This project arose out of the Environment Agency's interest in understanding these issues, and its social responsibilities in improving and protecting the environment. This report provides a reflective and critical analysis of a work-based project between September 2002 and September 2004 to develop the Environment Agency's policy on addressing environmental inequalities. Research objectives The overall aim of this project was to strengthen the Environment Agency's contribution to sustainable development by: • developing the Environment Agency's understanding of the relationships between environmental quality and social deprivation; • helping to clarify the Environment Agency's role, and ensure its policies reflect the need to address environmental inequalities; and • ensuring that others' strategies to tackle multiple disadvantage and promote sustainable development reflect the need to address environmental inequalities. Methodology and project activities An action research approach provided the overall framework for the project, in which cycles of action and reflection were used to develop evidence-based policy and wider organisational change. The project utilised a variety of research techniques, including quantitative statistical analysis, documentary research and collaborative inquiry with critical stakeholders. The data was triangulated to understand the relationships between environmental quality and social deprivation, the Environment Agency's role in addressing environmental inequalities, and wider policy options. A wide range of the Environment Agency's staff and its external stakeholders were involved in developing the research, making sense of the evidence, and developing and negotiating the policy solutions. Results The project established that: • While the quality of the environment is generally improving, the most socially and economically deprived communities tend to live in the worst environments. For example, those living in the most deprived wards in England experience the worst air quality, are most likely to live next to industrial sites and are most likely to live in tidal floodplains. In Wales, the picture is very different. Air pollution is generally better, the location of industrial sites show some bias towards affluent areas, and the link between flooding and deprivation is less clear. • The Environment Agency's role is to contribute to a better quality of life for everyone, by improving and protecting the environment and whatever their background and wherever they live. To inform its approach, the Environment Agency carries out research on environmental inequalities and works with others to develop the most effective ways of tackling them. It takes account of the social and economic impacts of its work whenever possible and includes the interests of disadvantaged communities in its work. The Environment Agency advises on the environmental impacts of planning decisions, and advises government on environmental inequality, • The Environment Agency is committed to doing what it can to address environmental inequalities and will ensure that it does not contribute to inequalities in the future. It will undertake further research on environmental inequalities and scrutinise its approach to modern regulation and flood risk management. It will carry out Strategic Environmental Assessment to assess the impact of its plans and programmes on people, and continue to provide information, and support processes that help people to make better decisions about their environment. • Work is also needed by government, business and society to address environmental inequalities at a national, regional and local level. The Environment Agency is calling for: a better understanding of environmental inequalities and the most effective ways of addressing them; government policy to promote a reduction in environmental inequalities; government to address environmental inequalities through tackling disadvantage; regional and local planning authorities to prevent further environmental inequalities; - communities supported and involved in decisions that affect their local environment. Project impact The Environment Agency's understanding of the relationships between environmental quality and social deprivation has developed considerably as a result of this project. New knowledge about environmental inequalities has led to increasing dialogue at different levels within ~ and outside the organisation about the Environment Agency's role in improving and protecting the environment in deprived areas. The project has laid the foundations for future changes in Environment Agency policy and practice. The project has provided leadership in championing these issues across government and has been instrumental in informing the commitments within the UK Sustainable Development Strategy. Through collaborative work with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Environment Agency has seen a shift in the government's thinking about the environmental dimensions of disadvantage and wider commitment to integrate environment and social justice across government policy. Recommendations The project developed specific recommendations for future research, policy and practice to address environmental inequalities. This report also makes recommendations for Ihe ways in which the Environment Agency should take these forward by: (i) continuing to shape and Champion research and policy to address environmental inequalities, but also demonstrating its commitment to this issue (as set out in its Environmental Vision and position Statement) by integrating environmental equality into its policies and processes, and through its corporate targets. (ii) undertaking practical pilots with local. regional and national partners to demonstrate the value of addressing environmental inequalities; (iii) placing greater emphasis on joining up the practical experience of its staff on the ground with the needs and views of the communities it works with, in the development of policy; (iv) supporting the use of social science and encouraging the inclusion of more diverse voices, particularly those that are most excluded, in the development of evidence-based policy; (v) continuing to promote the use of participatory approaches to support the development of science and policy; (vi) supporting greater opportunities for reflection, evaluation and learning from the experience of practice and policy – for example through work-based doctorates. learning sets. reflection, mentoring. and secondments

    On-board processing satellite network architecture and control study

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    For satellites to remain a vital part of future national and international communications, system concepts that use their inherent advantages to the fullest must be created. Network architectures that take maximum advantage of satellites equipped with onboard processing are explored. Satellite generations must accommodate various services for which satellites constitute the preferred vehicle of delivery. Such services tend to be those that are widely dispersed and present thin to medium loads to the system. Typical systems considered are thin and medium route telephony, maritime, land and aeronautical radio, VSAT data, low bit rate video teleconferencing, and high bit rate broadcast of high definition video. Delivery of services by TDMA and FDMA multiplexing techniques and combinations of the two for individual and mixed service types are studied. The possibilities offered by onboard circuit switched and packet switched architectures are examined and the results strongly support a preference for the latter. A detailed design architecture encompassing the onboard packet switch and its control, the related demand assigned TDMA burst structures, and destination packet protocols for routing traffic are presented. Fundamental onboard hardware requirements comprising speed, memory size, chip count, and power are estimated. The study concludes with identification of key enabling technologies and identifies a plan to develop a POC model

    Harmonic Scale Transformations

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    My artwork derives from a project to delineate the transformations certain types of harmonic musical scales undergo as the sizes of their generating intervals vary over the space of the octave

    Toxicity of antibiotics and other drugs to Neurospora

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    Toxicity of antibiotics and other drugs for Neurospor

    Impacts of Reducing UK Beef Consumption Using a Revised Sustainable Diets Framework

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    The impact of beef consumption on sustainability is a complex and evolving area, as sustainability covers many areas from human nutrient adequacy to ecosystem stability. Three sustainability assessment frameworks have been created to help policy makers unpack the complexities of sustainable food systems and healthy sustainable dietary change. However, none of these frameworks have yet to be applied to a case study or individual policy issue. This paper uses a hybrid version of the sustainability assessment frameworks to investigate the impact of reducing beef consumption (with a concurrent increase in consumption of plant-based foods, with a focus on legumes) on sustainability at a UK level. The aim of this paper is to understand the applicability of these overarching frameworks at the scale of an individual policy. Such an assessment is important, as this application of previously high-level frameworks to individual policies makes it possible to summarise, at a glance, the various co-benefits and trade-offs associated with a given policy, which may be of particular value in terms of stakeholder decision-making. We find that many of the proposed metrics found within the sustainability assessment frameworks are difficult to implement at an individual issue level; however, overall they show that a reduction in beef consumption and an increase in consumption of general plant-based foods, with a focus around legumes production, would be expected to be strongly beneficial in five of the eight overarching measures which were assessed

    Fidelity metrics for virtual environment simulations based on spatial memory awareness states

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    This paper describes a methodology based on human judgments of memory awareness states for assessing the simulation fidelity of a virtual environment (VE) in relation to its real scene counterpart. To demonstrate the distinction between task performance-based approaches and additional human evaluation of cognitive awareness states, a photorealistic VE was created. Resulting scenes displayed on a headmounted display (HMD) with or without head tracking and desktop monitor were then compared to the real-world task situation they represented, investigating spatial memory after exposure. Participants described how they completed their spatial recollections by selecting one of four choices of awareness states after retrieval in an initial test and a retention test a week after exposure to the environment. These reflected the level of visual mental imagery involved during retrieval, the familiarity of the recollection and also included guesses, even if informed. Experimental results revealed variations in the distribution of participants’ awareness states across conditions while, in certain cases, task performance failed to reveal any. Experimental conditions that incorporated head tracking were not associated with visually induced recollections. Generally, simulation of task performance does not necessarily lead to simulation of the awareness states involved when completing a memory task. The general premise of this research focuses on how tasks are achieved, rather than only on what is achieved. The extent to which judgments of human memory recall, memory awareness states, and presence in the physical and VE are similar provides a fidelity metric of the simulation in question

    Chromogenic and fluorogenic substrates for assaying xylanases of Neurospora

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    The Oak Ridge strains of wild type N. crassa grow well with high molecular wight xylan from oat spelts (Sigma X-0376) as the sole carbon source. Xylan, a substituted ß-1,4 linked polymer of xylose, induces high levels of xylanase, xylosidase and ß-galactosidase activities in both culture medium and mycelium. To assay for xylanase activity, chromogenic and fluorogenic substrates have been prepared by procedures based on those of Biely et al. 1985. Anal. Biochem. 144:142-146; Biely et al. 1985. Anal. Biochem. 144:147-151; Rinderknecht et al. 1967. Experientia 23:805; and De Belder and Granath 1973. Carb. Res. 30:375-378. Batches of xylan that have a tan color and granular texture should be dissolved in boiling water, precipitated with two volumes of absolute ethanol, and dried as described below before use. These techniques may also be used to prepare chromogenic and fluorogenic substrates from dextrans, glucans or other high molecular weight polysaccharides to assay endoglycosidases for which suitable assay reagents are not readily available

    The Intermediate Coupling Regime in the AdS/CFT Correspondence

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    The correspondence between the 't Hooft limit of N=4 super Yang-Mills theory and tree-level IIB superstring theory on AdS(5)xS(5) in a Ramond-Ramond background at values of lambda=g^2 N ranging from infinity to zero is examined in the context of unitarity. A squaring relation for the imaginary part of the holographic scattering of identical string fields in the two-particle channels is found, and a mismatch between weak and strong 't Hooft coupling is pointed out within the correspondence. Several interpretations and implications are proposed.Comment: 10 pages, LaTeX, reference adde

    The needs of young carers and the role of the school nurse

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    Young carers provide a significant contribution to society in their caring role, which is in line with the UK Government’s Big Society agenda. In contrast with their contribution to society, young carers have huge associated costs related to poor outcomes and the numbers that end up not in employment, education or training (NEET). Missing school due to caring responsibilities is likely to have an effect on future education and job prospects. Understanding the impact of the caring role on the school experience of young carers will enable school nurses to provide appropriate support for young carers, improving their school experience and subsequent outcomes

    Two Dimensional Mirror Symmetry From M-theory

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    We construct two dimensional gauge theories with N=(4,4)N= (4,4) supersymmetry from branes of type IIA string theory. Quantum effects in the two dimensional gauge theory are analyzed by embedding the IIA brane construction into M-theory. We find that the Coulomb branch of one theory and the Higgs branch of a mirror theory become equivalent at strong coupling. A relationship to the decoupling limit of the type IIA and IIB 5-branes in Matrix theory is shown. T-duality between the ALE metric and the wormhole metric of Callan, Harvey, and Strominger is discussed from a brane perspective and some puzzles regarding string duality resolved. We comment on the existence of a quantum Higgs branch in two dimensional theories. Branes prove to be useful tools in analyzing singular conformal field theories.Comment: 21 pages, 3 figures, uses harvmac and eps
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